Late last night, Sunday the 11th of December, I spoke with Johanna before she retired for the night and I could tell that she wasn’t so strained. I asked as I always do, “Johanna, how are you feeling?” When she spoke I could immediately tell that her voice was a bit stronger. She said, “I am a little better, Ma.” When she said that, I took a long deep breath. I smile as I think about it now. I really didn’t realize that when she and I spoke I was holding my breath. Most of last week and the weekend she was terribly sad and sick and she had little to no strength. When she would cry a bit, I wouldn’t really know what to say. It’s normally easy to speak when not sitting in the hot seat. But it wasn’t easy for me, so I just sat quiet and she began talking. That did my heart good. I just listened. I think the short talk was therapeutic for me, too.
I can breathe easily for a few days as she is stronger than she was all last week. When you love someone, especially your child, and they are going through difficulties and illnesses that you can’t take away or cure, you’ll find that everything gets in perspective. All of those “other” things that were so important before are quite unimportant. In fact they are an insult to the present circumstances. My desires fade away into one request: “God please let her get a little rest tonight.” That has been my one desire and the Lord granted my request. She is even laughing and talking more. I can finally take a breath.
This is a picture of my brother Roy. Here he is a Marine. Gunnery Sergeant Roy L. Payne, Jr. My brother was in the Marines from the age of 19 years to 30 years. He had initially planned to make a career of it. He was a Judo expert while in the Marines. My dad was a Marine, and so it followed suit that my brother went into the military as a Marine. He married a woman and had two children. But before that he held a distinguished position in 1969 before enlisting in the Marines and before management positions were really available to minorities. He was a manager at what used to be called Ma Bell – Bell Telephone Company, at the ripe old age of 20 years old. He had gotten his electronics certificate after graduating from High School, from RETS Electronics School. He was expert at that, as well.
When he enlisted in the Marines, he was stationed in Japan for about 3 years. He settled in 29 Palm, CA when he married in 1972. He and my sister-in-law had two children, Ruth, and Roy III. My brother grew and learned a lot before he turned 30 years old. A Christian man, he raised his family with delight. Ruth was 6 and Roy III was about 2 years old.
November 16, 1980 at about 1:45 a.m. early morning, my two brothers-in-law rang my doorbell and told me that my Mom would need me. I knew something had happened, but for the life of me I couldn’t have believed that when I got to my Mom and Dad’s house that I would hear that Roy had been killed in a car accident in California, that day. That was devastating enough, but he was killed by a drunk driver, and the drunk driver was a Marine also. WOW! My parents flew to California for the services. The rest of us had a memorial for him, where we lived. You know for so long I was angry with that drunk driver and wanted to hurt him, but he was killed, too. There was nothing but anger and pain as I thought of my sister-in-law and young niece and nephew who would only know their dad through pictures and word of mouth memories. He was married only 8 years and died at 30 years old. He would have been 67 this coming December. Ruth is 42 and Roy III is 37. My brother is missed, but never forgotten.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! THE EFFECTS LAST A LIFETIME.
If you grew up watching T.V. when I was young, there was alway a commercial or it was called a station break or even a word from our sponsor. I like that last phrase: Here’s a word from our sponsor.
I’ve enjoyed sharing my family’s history with you. You’ve all been sharing with me, too. I love it. But since I’ve shared with you almost daily something about family, I have had to take a station break. I want to give a word from the sponsor (me).
I don’t know where you are in your relationships with family and close friends, but if it is a broken or even shattered relationship, try to mend it. Circumstances can change so drastically and so suddenly and you don’t want anything to get in between you and your loved one will may come to need you.
I have three daughters and one son and for so long they have made me proud. The illnesses we’ve all endured to this point have been ‘fixable’ and not too severe, but now my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it for about 3 days. But since that time she’s gone through surgery, and will soon take Chemotherapy. My heart is broken for her and my husband and I are with her. She is the quietest of all the children, and she has a strength that the others don’t necessarily have. She will never have children, which in and of itself doesn’t bother me—she said more than once as a teen that she never wanted children. She is content to be an aunt. It’s at times like these that I find the faith that I’ve let you hear in my posts from time to time is strong. I have no doubt that God has picked her out for this particular test—and me, too. I’m a mom and feel as a mom would feel to hear her child is ill like that. But my faith in Jesus the Christ is solid and He’s brought us through other trials. He won’t fail now.